A man has made a horrifying discovery in a bin while he was out walking his dog on Thursday afternoon.
Walking along Henley Beach South, in South Australia yesterday, the man went to go put something in the blue-lidded bin when he found a cat inside.
The cat was in a carrier, which was inside a large plastic garbage bag.
Inside the carrier was cat food laced with rat bait and a yellow blanket, at the time of the discovery it was nearing 30C and the bin was directly in the sun.
“How anyone could dump an animal is difficult to understand, but to leave a live animal trapped inside a cage in a hot bin, with poison, makes this incident especially disturbing," RSPCA South Australia inspector Emma Shepley said in a statement.
“If this cat hadn’t been found when he was, there is a high probability he would have suffered a slow and agonising death."
The cat is now in the RSPCA's care at the Lonsdale shelter and is being monitored, though the RSPCA said at this stage it does not appear the cat ate any of the poison.
The cat does not have a microchip or any form of identification, so the RSPCA is urging anyone who believes the cat to the be theirs to come forward to the organisation.
The cat is male and two-years-old, and also overweight.
The RSPCA also noted it is an offence to abandon an animal under the state's Animal Welfare Act, and offenders could face up to two years in prison or a $20,000 fine.
"If the cat exhibits symptoms of poisoning, anyone found responsible for causing him harm could face aggravated cruelty charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 4 years imprisonment or a $50,000 fine," the RSPCA said.
“It is both shockingly cruel and unnecessary, when there are humane options to surrender unwanted animals to a reputable animal welfare organisation like RSPCA or find them new homes,” Shepley said.
The RSPCA is hoping to identify the person who dumped the cat in the bin and is urging anyone with information to come forward.
Anyone with information that might assist this investigation is urged to contact RSPCA on: 1300 4 777 22.
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